Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Frosina Ray of Sunshine / No. 1

"You see things as they are;
and you ask 'Why?'
But I dream things that never were:
and I ask 'Why not?'"

-George Bernard Shaw-

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Albanian Orthodox Autocephalous Church

A Frosina Infobit

The Albanian Orthodox Autocephalous Church

The establishment of an Albanian Orthodox autocephalous church had been one of the principal objectives of Albanian patriots since 1880. Sami Frashëri (an Albanian Muslim) rated it next to the Albanian language in importance. He urged the Albanians to rid themselves of their dependence on the Greek, Bulgarian, and Serbian churches - especially the Greek church - and create their own church with Albanian priests and a liturgy in Albanian. As it was impossible to reach this goal in Albania, on account of the opposition of the Patriarchate and the Turkish government, an attempt was also made to introduce only the Albanian language in the church services. When this effort failed, the patriots turned their thoughts to the constitution of an Albanian church outside Albania and Turkey. Bucharest seemed at the moment best suited for the purpose.

The church movement in Bucharest appears to have started at the outset ot the century. On May 27, 1900 Drita (Albanian newspaper in Romania) had as the first point in its program the separation of the Albanian church from the Greek Patriarchate and the introduction of the Albanian language in its liturgy. A decision was made to build an Albanian church in Bucharest. Obviously the decision was not carried out for two years later another fruitless attempt was made.
It was in the United States of America that the first Albanian Orthodox Church was founded. On March 22, 1908 in the Knights of Honor Hall in Boston, the first liturgy in Albanian was celebrated. An incident expedited it. In 1907 a young Albanian died in Hudson, Mass., and the local Greek priest refused to officiate for the funeral services, on the ground that the young man was an Albanian nationalist and as such "automatically excommunicated." The incident provoked indignation among the Albanians of Massachusetts, who called a meeting and decided to have an Albanian priest ordained. They invited Fan S. Noli to undertake the mission, and he hastened to accept it. Platon, the Russian archbishop of New York, ordained him priest on March 8, 1908 at the age of twenty-six. The Albanian Orthodox Church of America, which was established with the ordination of Fan S. Noli as priest was authorized to conduct services in Albanian, was a missionary church under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was organized as an independent diocese in 1919.*

The creation of the Albanian Orthodox Church in America was a powerful incentive to the growth of Albanian national feeling. With the introduction of Albanian in the liturgy, the church assumed a national character. Fan S. Noli translated the service from Greek and used it immediately after his ordination. He later translated many liturgical books in a clear and beautiful language. Fan S. Noli turned the pulpit into a tribune for nationalist preaching. The other priests serving Albanian congregations followed his example, for they were not at the service of the Greek church, but nationalistic-minded Albanians. The function of the Albanian Orthodox Church did not remain religious; it also became patriotic. As a religious institution, the Church interested only the Orthodox Albanians. As an institution established in order to detach them from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, whose policy was to hellenize them and unite them with Greece, it acquired a broader and national significance. This second aspect of the Albanian Orthodox Church of America concerned not only Orthodox Albanians but also their Moslem and Catholic compatriots. The activity of the Albanian colonies in the United States was intensified in the period following the creation of the Church - after 1908.

PP 161-163, The Albanian National Awakening, 1878-1912, Stavro Skendi, Princeton University Press, 1967

In September 1922, the Congress of Berat in Albania was called to deal with the question of religious independence. The congress, while irregular in composition, declared the Albanian Orthodox church to be autocephalous and ruled that Albanian instead of Greek should be used in the liturgy. The lack of hierarchy (no bishops existed) made these decisions largely inoperative; but by 1926, the then president and later king, Zog, had become interested in the matter and he henceforth worked to establish a valid autocephalous church. This was done with some semblance of legality following the convening in Fenbruary 1929 of a synod in King Zog's villa and finally achieved when on 13 April 1937 the patriarch of Constantinople accepted the Albanian Orthodox Church as autocephalous.

PP 170-171, Historical Dictionary of Albania, Raymond Hutchins, The Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD and London, 1996

Friday, September 25, 2009

Request for Kosovar Donations

Please help me spread the word that Americans who donate to the Foundation for Healthy Mothers and Babies in Kosovo will obtain a tax deduction by sending contributions to the nonprofit Hitchcock Foundation in Lebanon, NH. .

The name of the fund at the Hitchcock Foundation is the Kosovo Fund. This website will accept contributions by credit card through PayPal. Donations may also be mailed to the Hitchcock Foundation, The Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon,NH. 03756

The Trustees of the Foundation have just authorized a 75,000 euro fundraising campaign to install a state-of-the-art oxygen delivery system in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the obstetrical hospital in the University Clinical Center in Prishtina, Kosovo. This hospital averages 10,500 deliveries per year and 1800 of these deliveries are premature so that the NICU in this hospital is very busy treating high-risk, newborn infants. Many of these high risk newborns have serious breathing difficulties that require oxygen.Once installed, this new oxygen delivery system will immediately begin to save lives and decrease complications such as blindness.

The Foundation will contract with Draeger Medical, a highly recommended German company, to install this system. Four bids were received and representatives from each company were interviewed by Foundation's Executive Director, Emma Gjemnica,and two members of the Foundation's Medical Advisory Committee. This due diligence process selected Draeger.

Please contact me if you have questions or would like additional information.

James C. Strickler, MD James.C.Strickler@Dartmouth.EDU
Professor of Medicine and Community Medicine
Emeritus Dean, the Dartmouth Medical School
Trustee, Foundation for Healthy Mothers and Babies (Kosovo)

Source: massalbanians

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Frosina Thought For The Day No. 1

"If there is no justice from the authorities, there will be vengeance from the people."

Roberto Zavala, whose child was one of 46 to die in a June 5 fire at a Mexican day care, blasting local officials for failing to punish anyone for the tragedy.

Source: Verbatim,TIME, August,2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

King Zog in America (1951)

A Frosina infobit

King Zog in America (1951)

Ahmed Bey Zogu, born in 1895, battled innumerable Balkan adversaries to consolidate control of his country after the First World War, became President in 1925, and declared himself King Zog I in 1928. For his coronation, he ordered an outfit that included rose-colored breeches, gold spurs, and a gold crown weighing seven and five-eighths pounds.

Zog's preoccupation once he was on the throne was how to stay alive. In 1931, he barely escaped assasination at the hands of two gunmen as he was leaving a performance of "Pagliacci" at the Vienna Opera House. His mother kept watch over the royal kitchen to make sure his food was not being poisoned. A virtual recluse in his capital city, Tirana, which in any case had neither night clubs nor theatres, Zog did little except play poker and smoke as many as a hundred and fifty perfumed cigarettes a day. Understandably, perhaps, shaking Europe's royal family trees for a queen yielded Zog no fruit. But his four sisters, each of them a division commander in the Albanian army and none of them married themselves, helped in the search, and he eventually found a penniless half-American, half-Hungarian countess, Geraldine Apponyi, who had been selling postcards in the Budapest National Museum for forty-five dollars a month. Her photograph captured Zog's heart, and they were married in 1938.

A year later, Italy invaded Albania, routing its thirteen thousand troops and two airplanes within forty-eight hours. Having fled to England with his family and a hefty portion of his country's gold, Zog watched from afar as Mussolini's Fascists and then Enver Hoxha's Communists took over his kingdom. Zog was formally deposed in absentia in 1946. Having temporarily moved to Egypt, he became friends with King Farouk while he pondered the serious question of where an ex-monarch could live.

He found the answer, he thought, during a 1951 tour of the United States: Knollwood, a sixty-room granite mansion that had been built on Long Island's North Shore in 1907. Zog bought it for $102,800 (not for " a bucket of diamonds and rubies," as some stories claimed at the time). Italian Renaissance in style, Knollwood boasted tall Ionic columns and a winding main stairway of Caen marble. Massive stone steps led down to vast reaches of landscaping, with gardens and reflecting pools. English ivy covered parts of wide terraces and also hung from marble fountains and urns. "A man must have a place to lay his head," the Times commented, "and if Zog feels he must have sixty rooms to do it in, that is his business."

Zog, it was announced, intended to turn Knollwood into his kingdom in exile. In its grounds would live Albanian subjects, working the land as his tenants. North Shore society, delighted at the prospect of royalty in its back yard, was soon flocking to Knollwood. At its gates, visitors were greeted by a bearded member of the Royal Guard: he would kiss their hands and turn them away.

Alas, Zog wanted to settle into the mansion with his entire court, of a hundred and fifteen, but the immigration authorities would allow him to bring only twenty into the country. Attempts to bribe the State Department failed, and in 1952 he was forced to pay $2,914 in taxes to save his property, having been unable to convince Nassau County that as a monarch he had sovereign immunity from such trifles. In 1955, he sold Knollwood, which had meanwhile suffered eight thousand dollars' worth of damage from vandals. The vandals thereupon converged on the estate in earnest, ripping it apart in search of treasure that was rumored to be buried in its grounds. The mansion was later demolished, and Zog spent his last days in a nearly empty villa on the French Riviera, with Queen Geraldine doing the housework. He died in 1961.

Excerpted from Muttontown's King, The New Yorker, pp. 33 & 34, September 11, 1989

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Four Albanian Popes

a frosina infobit

The Four Albanian Popes

Pope Saint Eleutherius (175-189)
Pope Saint Caius (283-296)
Pope John IV (640-642)
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)

In the official newspaper of the Vatican in Rome, L'Osservatore Romano*, Giovanni Armillotta published an article titled "Pope Clement XI and the Albani Family" in which he stated that the prominent Albani family in Italy was founded by two Albanian brothers, George and Filip of Michele dei Lazi, who fought the Turks alongside the 15th century Albanian folkhero, Gjergj Kastrioti, known in Europe as Scanderbeg (1405-1468). As a military leader of outstanding capabilities, Scanderbeg united hitherto warring Albanian clans into a common army to battle the invading Turks thus preventing the Ottoman Empire from extending into Europe.

The Albani brothers took the name "Albanesi" that George's son, Altobello (1454-1564) had changed to "Albani". In addition to Pope Clement XI (1700-1721), Armilotta states that the Albani family produced other illustrious personages who became cardinals, diplomats, and important statesmen including Giovanni Girolamo (1509-91) cardinal, Orazio (1576-1653) statesman, Anibale (1682-1751) cardinal, Alessandro (1692-1779) cardinal, and Guiseppe (1750-1834) cardinal.

Armallota concludes his article in L'Osservatore Romano by stating that "even before Clement XI (1700-1721), we find there were three other Pontiffs of Albanian origin: Saint Eleutherius (175-189), Saint Caius (283-296), and Pope John IV (640-742)".

Pope Saint Eleutherius (175-189)**
Eleutherius spread the Bible to many countries of the Roman Empire. While the legend that an English king Lucius sought baptism from Eleutherius may be fiction, the pope sent a mission to the British which was then a Roman province. He is believed to be the first Albanian pope.

Pope Saint Caius (283-296)
Caius decreed that before a man would be bishop, he must first be porter, reader, exorcist, acolyte, sub-deacon, deacon, and priest. He divided the districts of Rome among the deacons. It was during the pontificate of Caius that Diocletian ascended the imperial throne.

Pope John IV (640-642)
John IV did not forget his native land which was being harried by Serbs. He sent funds to Dalmatia to help redeem the poor natives who had been carried off by barbarians. He also secured relics from the its troubled churches and built a church in Rome to house them.

Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)
Born in Urbano, Italy, of the Albani family whose forebears fought for the Turks for 25 years alongside the 15th century folkhero of the Albanians, Scanderbeg thus preventing the Ottoman Turks from overunning Europe. Clement XI also fostered foreign missions but was unsuccessful in converting Czar Peter the Great.

*L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO Year CXL -N 139 (42.777), Vatican City, Wednesday, June 20, 2001

** See Frosina infobit: Saint Eleutherius: the First Albanian Pope.

Albanian Language Tutor for Beginners

After several requests from those seeking an Albanian language tutor, I am pleased to announce that I will be available to serve as a tutor for non-Albanian persons in 1-1/2 hour segments. I have previously taught the Albanian language to non-Albanians who either had an Albanian connection or were simply curious about the language(and even taught them a couple of Albanian songs!).

Beginners Albanian language tutoring for individuals will be held M-F in the Frosina office located in the historic Steinert Building conveniently located at 162 Boylston Street diagonally across from the Boylston Street T stop.

Beginners Albanian Language tutoring - at a mutually-agreed day and time - is at $25.hr.

Please contact Van Christo at VanChristo@frosina.org for more information.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seeks Interpreter for Kosovar Boy Undergoing Surgery

Dear friends:

I just received a phone call from Boston Children's Hospital informing me that the young Kosovar boy recuperating from heart surgery (described below) has been moved with his mother to the home of a Kosovar family so interpreters are no longer needed.

I was also informed that the hospital had received offers from many Albanians who were willing to help.

Bravo Albanians!

Van Christo


I want to make a departure from my regular postings to the Frosina Blog because of the urgency expressed in the inquiry for help below. I hope that an Albanian translator can be of immediate service to the young Kosovar boy as he undergoes important surgery at Boston's Children's Hopsital.


My name is Bob Marcou and I am writing from the Waltham Massachusetts Rotary Club. We, as an organization, and our president, Glenna Gelineau, are hosting a 7 year old boy and his mom from Kosovo who is here for a heart operation at Childrens Hospital in Boston.

Unfortunately, none of us speak Albanian and the boy and his mom do not speak a word of English. He just arrived and the doctors need to perform additional surgeries and there is nobody around to help us communicate any of this to the boy or his mom.

Can you help us in any way? or advise us to where we might find help to converse? We appreciate any help or advice you can provide. Thank you so much!

Bob Marcou 781-899-2220 or 781-899-7420
Glenna Gelineau 781-894-4020 or jillos@aol.com

The Battle of Vlora, Albania (1920)

By Van Christo

After WWI, the Peace Conference in France in 1919 took up the question of Albania's official boundaries. England supported Greek territorial claims to southern Albania especially Korça and Gjirokaster, France supported Serbian claims to northern Albania, especially Shkodra, and America, at first, appeared to support Italy's claim to the Albanian seacoast town of Vlora on the Adriatic Sea because it wanted Italy to act as a buffer between Greece and Serbia. A subsequent secret agreement between Italy and Greece made the partitioning of Albania imminent.

Italy desperately wanted Vlora because, with the exception of Venice, it would then have no naval base on the Adriatic Sea to protect itself from possible Yugoslav attacks. To ensure that she would get Greek support for her claim to Vlora, Italy and Greece concluded the secret Venizelos-Tittoni Agreement on July 29, 1919, whereby Italy agreed to support Greek claims for the annexation of southern Albania, and whereby Greece bound herself to support Italian sovereignty over Vlora and the Italian mandate over the remainder of Albania.

But the secret pact was found out, and then Yugoslavia suddenly supported the concept of a completely independent Albania to thwart the aims of Greece and Italy, especially Italy, and the Italian mandate over the rest of Albania which then would threaten Yugoslavia's own territorial ambitions in Albania. An Albanian provisional government was elected at the Congress of Lushnja on January 20, 1920, which invoked USA President Woodrow Wilson's proclamation of the self-determination of nations.

But the provisional government had little power and practically no authority. It also had no army to speak of. The Albanians on June 10, 1920, issued an ultimatum calling on the Italian government to give up its claim to Vlora, and it set June 11 at 7 pm as the date for an answer to the ultimatum. General Settimio Piacentini, who commanded all the Italian forces in the Vlora district, replied to the Albanian ultimatum with gunfire. Salvo after salvo from the heavy guns on Italian warships in the Vlora Bay martyred many Albanians who had no arms to defend themselves, and so the hostilities began in earnest.

On June 11, Albanian volunteers ferociously attacked the Italians capturing most of the outlying detachments. On June 12, just southwest of Vlora, the garrison of Tepelena held by 400 Italians surrendered, and when the Albanians stormed the inner defenses of Vlora, itself, a terrific battle took place, but the Albanians were driven back with severe losses because of heavy gunfire from the Italian warships. Albanians were fighting with swords, sticks, bricks, shovels, muskets, even their bare hands, against Italian machine guns, artillery, tanks, and, especially, the big guns on the Italian warships in Vlora Bay.

The uprising in Vlora created a spontaneous response from volunteers from every part of Albania; Muslims, Christians, highlanders, lowlanders -- all flocked to support the Vlora irregulars. There was no official Albanian army or other Albanian government action involved -- this was truly a people's uprising against a foreign invader.

The Vlora battle was an unpopular war even in Italy where Italo-Albanians, the Arbereshe, set up a protest that was heard all over Italy, especially in its Chamber of Deputies. Italian soldiers destined to fight in Vlora laid down their arms and deserted, and Italian railwaymen refused to transport supplies. The Italian people clamored for the war to end so a new Italian government was formed, and the secret Italian-Greek agreement was repudiated.

Italian peace negotiations failed because they stipulated less than complete withdrawal from Albanian soil. On July 23, Vlora was again savagely attacked by the Albanians who now gained partial control of the town. The Italians, because they had so completely misjudged the nationalist spirit of the Albanians and the fierceness with which the Albanians fought, were finally compelled to sue for peace. Italy agreed to evacuate the whole of Albania including Vlora. In exchange for her promise to help Albania obtain unreserved recognition of its independence, Albania agreed to permit Italy occupy Sazano, a small island in Vlora Bay. On September 2, 1920, the last Italian troops left Vlora, and this Italian withdrawal considerably strengthened the prestige of the Albanian people all over the world. Thanks in part to the pro-Albanian position of President Wilson, all plans for the partitioning of Albania were abandoned.

See related speeches "The Battle of Vlora" by Van Christo (from which this infobit was excerpted) and "The Vatra Band and Albania" by Thoma Nassi under Speeches/Lectures at www.frosina.org

After Summer Albanian Boat Party in Boston Harbor

Here's a great opportunity - for both Albanians and non-Albanians - to get close to members of the Albanian community of Massachusetts. Jane and have been on a couple of these evening water excursions in the past, and we always enjoyed them!

Trust me, it will a wonderful and memorable party and tour of Boston Harbor for Albanians and others so I urge all visitors to the Frosina Blog to attend. You'll be glad you did!

Details below...


After Summer Boat Party - Albanian School Fundraiser

Time and Place

Start Time: September 19, 2009, 7:30 pm
End Time: September 19, 2009, 11:00 pm
Location: Samuel Clemens Steamship
Street: 60 Rowes Wharf
City/Town: Boston, MA, 02110


End of the summer does not mean end of the party, so please join us for a fun and exciting boat party to celebrate the end of the summer, the start of a new school year for the Albanian Language and Heritage School and to meet new and old friends.

Let's dance the night away, while sailing around Boston Harbor and raising much needed funds for the Albanian School in Boston.

Cash bar, free light apperizers and great music.

Boarding time: September 19th, 2009 at 7.30pm at 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston (by the Boston Harbor Hotel). Samuel Clemens Boat leaves at 8.00pm sharp and comes back at 11.00 pm

Featuring a Live concert by:

Gjergji Theka, guitars
Ervin Dhimo, bass
Zeke Martin, drumset

and music by DJ JZ

Adults $25, Children$10 Reserve tickets NOW

To purchase tickets please visit
http://maasbesa.org/boatparty or call Katherine Vlladesi @ (781)858-9193

All Proceeds from Ticket Sales and/or Donations Benefit The Albanian Language and Heritage School in Boston

Monday, September 14, 2009

Present Day Islam Religion in Albania

I believe I speak for many Albanians - Christians and Muslims alike - who are tired of the frightening assertions by some of Albania's neighbors that "Albania is now the only Muslim country in the Balkans" and should, therefore, be feared as possibly nurturing Muslim extremists.

However, from Scanderbeg's time in the 15th century up to the current Berisha adminstration in Albania, Albanian Christian Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Muslims were - and are - invariably included in Albania's governments. King Zog, Fan Noli, and successive communist administrations always made it a point to include members of the three different religious faiths in Albania in their governments.

I am pleased, then, to post the following article about religion in current-day Albania that may help set the record straight.


A Frosina Infobit

Present Day Islam Religion in Albania

Albania is both a secular state and secular society. Albanian Islam has never been a strict and traditional form. The majority of Albanian Muslims are Sunnis, the branch which, in contrast to the Shi'ites, is most open to western influences such as dress and social habits. The other Muslim tradition in Albania is Bektashim, a form of Shi'ite Islam close to the Sufis (best known for the practice of the 'whirling dervishes'). The Bektashis are one of the least dogmatic expressions of Islam and open to collaboration with other faiths. In any case, most Muslim Albanians have a long secularist tradition, being very moderate and liberal (in the sense of marrying someone of another religion, drinking alcohol, or eating pork, etc.). The long period of state atheism also had the effect of damping down religious fervour on the part of Muslims.

After the collapse of communism the religious revival has tended to favour conversions to Christianity rather than Islam, reinforced by the wish of Albanians to join the European family, which is viewed as a 'Christian Club'. In Albania there is little evidence of Islamic fundamentalism, or even Islamization. Most young Albanians today conform to the more hedonistic and secularist life-styles of their young western counterparts.

The situation in Albania is unlike Kosovo or Macedonia where religion has been an important element of their national identity for the ethnic Albanian populations. Another specific feature is that Albania did not have a single national church, powerful and influential, as had its neighbouring countries Greece and Serbia.

Source: Page 34. Albania and the European Union, by Mirela Bogdani and John Loughlin, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007, London and New York, www.ibtauris.com

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Anglo-Albanian Association / London

The Anglo-Albanian Association
by Peter Rennie

The Anglo-Albanian Association evolved from a committee first established in London in 1912 by Aubrey Herbert, diplomat, scholar and Member of Parliament, to champion Albania's right to independence, and an Anglo-Albanian society launched in 1918 whose president was Aubrey Herbert and whose secretary was Edith Durham, traveler, author and anthropologist.

After the First World War, it monitored events in The Balkans and was a primary channel through which information on developments in Albania was conveyed to both Government departments and to the general public.

After the Second World War, its special concern was with exiles from the communist dictatorship in Albania - men and women whose lives were, in many cases, at risk because of the support they had given to British military missions in wartime Albania.

Now called an Association, it provided for them a focus of hope in the process of adjusting to life in their host country.

Since the end of communism in 1991 and the advent of democracy, the Association has renewed links with Albania. Although it is not a registered Charitable organization, it acts as an unofficial point of liaison for individuals and organizations involved in aid work. Through its quarterly 24-page newsletter, DRITA (The Light), it provides a source of information on developments both in Albania and Kosova, news of humanitarian efforts, Anglo-Albanian events, articles of general, cultural and historic interest, and a means of keeping members in touch with one another. It sponsors seminars on Albanian questions which are organized by the Centre for South-East European Studies and the Nash Albanian programme at University College, London.

The Association holds an annual Flag Day (Dita e Flamurit) party in London on 28 November, Albania's National Day, and throughout the year luncheons are held at the Albanian restaurant, Koha, in London's West End.

About Colonel Aubrey Herbert


An influential Briton who espoused and publicized the Albanians' cause until his death. He was the brother of Lord Carnarvon, who financed the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen, and the son of Lady Carnarvon who in his memory organized the British Albanian Relief Committee. The committee having aided refugees from Kosovo who had settled in a village near Kavajë, that village was named Herbert.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Scanderbeg on the English Stage

I continue to be on the lookout for unusual or little-known facts about Albania and the Albanians that I can share, especially, with non-Albanians. I was delighted, then, when I received the very informative article below about Albania's 15th Century folk-hero, Scanderbeg, by London's Peter Rennie.

Our dear friend, Peter Rennie, is - and has been - a staunch friend of the Albanians who, for many years, was Secretary of the Anglo-Albanian Association founded in 1918. Two early supporters of Albania and the Albanians, Colonel Aubrey Herbert, served as the Association's first President, and Edith Durham, as its first Secretary.

A Frosina Infobit

Scanderbeg on the English Stage

by Peter Rennie
Anglo-Albanian Association/London

In the 18th Century when the Ottomans were suffering reverses in Central Europe, there was a revival of interest in the earlier struggle of the 15th century Albanian national hero, Scanderbeg, against them in Albania. Not only did Scanderbeg serve as the subject for operas by Vivaldi and two French composers, Francouer and Lacepede, but he was also the hero in three English plays described below dealing with his defence of the fortress in Kruje against the forces of Sultan Amurith in 1450.

Scanderbeg, or Love and Liberty (1727?)
by Thomas Whincop The first to be written, but never performed, was Scanderbeg or Love and Liberty by Thomas Whincop who was rector of a London church. According to the preface to the play, which was printed in 1747, the reason for its non-performance was due to the difficulties encountered by his widow in getting a theatre to put on a performance, and to the "caprices" of theatre managers.
An account of the life of Scanderbeg is given along with drawings of scenes from the play, one of which depicts Scanderbeg wearing a turban and mounted on a horse. Interestingly, the Albanian translator, Skender Luarasi, translated the text into Albanian in 1920, but it was not until 1967 on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Scanderbeg's death in January 1468 that it was published by the Naim Frasheri publishing house in Tirana.

Scanderbeg (1733)
by William Havad In 1733 William Havard (1710-1778) an actor and dramatist, son of a Dublin vitner, published his play entitled Scanderbeg. It was performed twice at the Goodman's Fields Theatre in London, but with little success. He faced allegations that he had stolen the plot from Whincop whose play was in the hands of the manager of Goodman's Fields. Havard is buried in the courtyard of St. Paul's, adjacent to Covent Garden, where his gravestone bore an epitaph written by the well-known actor David Garrick.

The Christian Hero (1753)
by George Lillo The third and best of a rather poor trio of plays on Scanderbeg was The Christian Hero by George Lillo (1693-1739), son of a London jeweller, and better known in English literature for his domestic drama entitled George Barwell. Encouraged by the success of this latter work he ventured upon a more exotic theme in his play on Scanderbeg, but after four performances at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1753 it sank into obscurity, having met with a mixed reception. In the first night review of the play the theatre periodical The Prompter thought it was not to the taste of the English audience, but a later Account of the English Stage published in 1832 said it deserved a much better fate and was the best of the three tragedies written on Scanderbeg.

Frosina Information Network / 162 Boylston St. / Boston, MA 02116 / Tel: 617 482-2002 / Fax: 617 482-0014
E-mail: VanChristo@frosina.org Website: www.frosina.org Blog: www.frosina.org/blog/
Tirana Office: Kutia Postare Nr. 8183 / Tirane, Albania / Vladimir Misha, Director / E-Mail: Vladi@frosina.org

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Kokkalis Programs at Harvard

For the benefit of those who are yet unaware of the excellent Kokkalis Programs at Harvard, I am pleased to post the news below about upcoming lectures.

Jane and I have attended many of these Kokkalis Programs at Harvard that have featured as guest Albanian speakers the former president of Albania, Prof. Rexhep Meidani, and Kosova's Minister of Economy and Finance, Ahmet Shala.

The Kokkalis Program speakers are diverse and well-selected so I urge visitors to the Frosina Blog to attend them!


The Kokkalis Program would like to invite you to the following events:


4:00-6:00 p.m.

Kokkalis Program Open House

Kokkalis Program Offices
124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 100
Cambridge, MA

Join Kokkalis Program staff for an open house, and learn more about the Kokkalis Program’s diverse initiatives and activities. This informal reception will also provide an opportunity to get to know an extended community of students and scholars engaged with Southeast Europe, the EU, and neighboring regions. Friends and colleagues not affiliated with Harvard are also welcome. Light refreshments will be provided.


6:00 p.m.

Europe in the World

Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy

Yenching Auditorium, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA

Co-sponsored with the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard; the Karamanlis Chair, Fletcher School, Tufts University; the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard, as part of the “Challenges of the 21st Century: European and American Perspectives Series”



7:00 p.m.

A lecture by H.E. Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, Turkey

Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building (ground floor)

John F. Kennedy School of Government
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA

All events are free and open to the public. For more information on these and other events, please visit http://www.hks.harvard.edu/kokkalis.